Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift big winners at Billboard Awards
(Reuters) - Pop stars Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift won the big prizes on Sunday at the Billboard Music Awards, which also honored legendary performers Madonna and Prince. Bieber, who was named top male artist, also performed at the show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. He also took home Billboard's first Milestone Award, chosen by fans, for musical innovation and ingenuity. "I'm 19 years old. I think I'm doing a pretty good job, Bieber said. "It should really be about the music. This is not a gimmick. I'm an artist and I should be taken seriously. ...
Denmark wins Eurovision on ABBA's turf with folksy ballad
By Mia Shanley MALMO, Sweden (Reuters) - Denmark's Emmelie de Forest won Eurovision on Saturday before an international TV audience of around 125 million, clinching the coveted crown of euro-pop with a folksy ballad backed by a wall of fire, flutes and drums. The barefoot 20-year-old blonde stole the show as predicted by bookmakers with "Only Teardrops" in a final that saw 26 countries battle it out in the southern Swedish city of Malmo for the top prize in glitzy European pop music. ...
Beatles' guitar auctioned to the tune of $408,000
By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A custom-made electric guitar played by the late John Lennon and George Harrison of the Beatles sold at a New York auction on Saturday for $408,000, said officials with the company behind the event. The semi-hollow-body guitar, manufactured by the VOX company, was sold to an unidentified U.S. buyer at the "Music Icons" event organized by Beverly Hills, California-based Julien's Auctions and held at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manhattan. ...
Vocal acrobatics of "La Donna del Lago" an "Olympic" challenge
By Josie Cox LONDON (Reuters) - Even with one of the world's most athletic opera singers at her side and plenty of practice, American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato reckons the latest London production of Gioachino Rossini's "La Donna Del Lago" is the challenge of a lifetime. DiDonato and Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez told Reuters at the Royal Opera House production's opening on Friday night that performing their technically demanding roles in the John Fulljames interpretation is almost like an elite sport. ...
U.S. 'Idol' winner shines light on South's Gullah culture
By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - "American Idol" winner Candice Glover, whose powerful voice clinched the title of the popular TV singing show, comes from a sea island culture made up of descendants of West African slaves. "I speak another language," she said during the Fox TV show. "It's called Geechee." Some 14.2 million TV viewers tuned in to watch Glover beat Kree Harrison to win the season 12 "American Idol" crown on Thursday. Glover, 23, is a native of rural St. Helena Island in the coastal South Carolina Lowcountry. ...
Singer George Michael gets medical treatment after car crash
LONDON (Reuters) - British singer George Michael has received medical treatment after a car crash on Thursday, his publicist said. The 49-year-old former Wham! frontman was being treated for "minor cuts and bruises" after the accident, Michael's spokeswoman said. "George Michael was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a traffic accident yesterday evening, no third party was involved," a spokeswoman said on Friday. "He is being treated for superficial cuts and bruises but is fine." British media reported that the accident occurred just outside London on a motorway during rush hour. ...
Eurovision returns to ABBA's homeland with pop and kitsch
By Mia Shanley STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Bare-chested Irish drummers, a Ukrainian giant and a much-discussed lesbian kiss will be on display at this Saturday's Eurovision final in Sweden which - love it or hate it - promises plenty of pop, kitsch and barefoot ballads. Some 26 countries will compete for the jewel in the crown of European pop in the homeland of former Swedish supergroup ABBA, one of Eurovision's most successful winners. ...
Singer Kat Edmonson gets creative with financing her music
By Jeremy Gaunt LONDON (Reuters) - If Kat Edmonson ever becomes a household name, she can put it down not just to her talent as a jazz singer, but to some decidedly modern financing as well. The 29-year-old Texan, an old-school chanteuse with a contemporary lilt, has funded production of her second album via a community workshop and through crowd-sourcing, essentially getting the people who like her to pay for it. The album, "Way Down Low", has now been picked up by Sony which is "launching" the singer outside the United States as an up-and-comer in a more traditional manner. ...
U.S. soul singer Candice Glover wins "American Idol"
By Patricia Reaney (Reuters) - Candice Glover, a soul singer from rural South Carolina, was named "American Idol" on Thursday, becoming the first female singer to win the television singing competition since 2007. Glover, 23, defeated country singer Kree Harrison in the popular vote with her powerful voice in what judges deemed a close contest to take the title on season 12 of the Fox network show. "You are officially our American idol," host Ryan Seacrest said as the crowd of more than 7,000 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles cheered. ...
Singer Bob Dylan made honorary member of U.S. arts academy
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Singer Bob Dylan was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, joining the ranks of leading writers, composers and artists in the prestigious 115-year-old group. Henry Cobb, the president of the academy, said honorary members are people of great distinction in the creative arts. ...
One Direction reveals 'edgy' new album and 2014 world tour
LONDON (Reuters) - British boy band One Direction, one of the pop industry's biggest acts of the last 18 months, are working on an "edgy" third album and will start a world tour next year. The five singers told a press conference in London that their new album, which the music press speculated would share the same name as their upcoming "Where We Are" 2014 tour, will depart from the teen pop that has had young girls screaming around the world since they first emerged from a talent show. ...
Denmark's folksy ballad wins Eurovision
By Mia Shanley MALMO, Sweden (Reuters) - Denmark's Emmelie de Forest won Eurovision on Saturday before an international TV audience of around 125 million, securing the coveted crown of euro-pop with a folksy ballad backed by flutes and drums. The barefoot 20-year-old stole the show as predicted by bookmakers with "Only Teardrops" in a final that saw 26 countries battle it out in the southern Swedish city of Malmo for the top prize in glitzy European pop music. "I could feel the fans and all the energy in the arena. ... It's a once in a lifetime experience. ...
Denmark's Emmelie de Forest wins Eurovision Song Contest
MALMO, Sweden (Reuters) - Denmark won the Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday before an international TV audience of around 125 million, winning with the annual competition with a barefoot performance backed by flutes and drums. The 20-year-old won with the song "Only Teardrops", competing against 25 other countries in a final held in Malmo in southern Sweden. (Reporting by Mia Shanley)
Emeli Sande wins two top UK singer-songwriter awards
By Paul Casciato LONDON (Reuters) - An invitation from the White House robbed Emeli Sande on Thursday of the chance to celebrate the latest mark of her success in an unstoppable rise to the front ranks of British female singers. The Scottish singer-songwriter's "Next To Me" single won both the best song and most performed work categories at Britain's 58th Ivor Novello awards for songwriting, putting her on a par with some of Britain's biggest music names. ...
Boston Symphony names Latvian conductor to succeed James Levine
BOSTON (Reuters) - The Boston Symphony Orchestra has hired Latvian conductor Andris Nelsons to succeed James Levine, an iconic American conductor known for his wild hair and dramatic manner, who left in 2011 due to health problems, it said on Thursday. Nelsons will be the leading U.S. symphony's youngest conductor in more than a century when he begins the 2013-14 season as "music director designate." He will assume the full title of music director for the 2014-15 season. ...
The CW inks three-year deal to broadcast Clear Channel's iHeartRadio Music Festival
By Jehtro Nededog LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - The CW has extended its partnership with Clear Channel Media to broadcast its iHeartRadio Music Festival, as well as associated events, release parties and concert specials for three years. "The CW is synonymous with what's now and what's next, and that includes music," said The CW president Mark Pedowitz in a statement. "We have always been known for using the hottest, most of-the-moment music, both on our shows and in our marketing campaigns. ...
Cee Lo Green, Miley Cyrus, Hayden Panettiere to present at Billboard Music Awards
By Tim Kenneally LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Past (and future) "Voice" coach Cee Lo Green will be on hand to dole out a trophy at the 2013 Billboard Music Awards, along with a slew of other presenters that includes Celine Dion, Kelly Rowland, Hayden Panettiere, Kid Rock, Chloe Grace Moretz and Miley Cyrus. The presenters will also include Shania Twain, Ke$ha, Carly Rae Jepsen, Alyssa Milano, Jenny McCarthy, Emmy Rossum, Stana Katic, Gabriel Mann, Jennifer Nettles, Psy, Sky Blu, Jennifer Morrison, Florida Georgia Line, Wiz Khalifa and Alanis Morissette. ...
Lady Antebellum trumps 'Gatsby' soundtrack for Billboard No.1
By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Country group Lady Antebellum scored its third No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 album chart on Wednesday, staving off competition from Jay-Z's soundtrack for "The Great Gatsby" film. "Golden," the fourth studio album from the Nashville trio, sold more than 167,000 copies in its first week, according to figures from Nielsen SoundScan, securing the top position on the weekly Billboard chart, which measures album sales across both digital and physical formats. ...
Why YouTube cover sensation Sam Tsui turned down record labels for his debut album
By Lucas Shaw NEW YORK (TheWrap.com) - Michael Jackson landed Sam Tsui on Oprah, but now Tsui must rely on someone else's music - his own. A 24-year-old Pennsylvania native, Tsui blossomed into one of the most popular cover artists on YouTube while at Yale, covering everyone from Jackson to Britney Spears to Adele. His channel amassed more than 500,000 subscribers with the help of childhood friend and producer Kurt Schneider, who helped deliver Tsui's covers and mash-ups to millions of fans. ...
Music's Dr. Dre, Iovine give $70 million to USC academic program
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rapper Dr. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine have donated $70 million to establish an entrepreneurial undergraduate program at the University of Southern California, the Los Angeles school said on Wednesday. The gift will create a new degree pulling faculty members from the university's business, fine arts, music and engineering departments. The Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation will begin in the fall of 2014 and enroll a first class of 25 students, USC said. Dr. ...
Country, soul singers battle in all-female 'American Idol' finale
By Patricia Reaney (Reuters) - Soul singer Candice Glover vied with country crooner Kree Harrison on Wednesday in an all-female finale of "American Idol" to become the first woman to win the TV singing competition since 2007. In a finale that judge Randy Jackson described as "so close," Glover, the 23-year-old former travel agent from St. Helena, South Carolina, brought the judges and the audience to their feet after belting out Tom Jones' "I Who Have Nothing." "You are such a powerhouse singer," judge Keith Urban said. "The song is like a planet exploding. ...
Conductor Gilbert fights 'Bolero effect' - in a car factory
By Michael Roddy DRESDEN, Germany (Reuters) - A concert in a car factory using parts of a luxury sedan as percussion instruments is one thing, but a Volkswagen suspended above the New York Philharmonic creates another level of musical drama entirely. The NYPO under its first native New York music director, Alan Gilbert, showed during two concerts this week at the Dresden Music Festival in central Germany why the 46-year-old conductor has a reputation for brushing off the cobwebs at one of America's most distinguished orchestras. ...
Christina Aguilera in talks to return to 'The Voice'
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Pop singer Christina Aguilera is in discussions to return as a judge on NBC television singing competition "The Voice" next season, sources with knowledge of the talks said on Tuesday. Aguilera, 32, went on hiatus from the program this season to promote her latest album, "Lotus," with a concert tour. The singer had been a judge on the first three seasons of the program, which debuted in 2011. ...
Palestinians unite behind Gaza Strip "Arab Idol" star
By Nidal al-Mughrabi GAZA (Reuters) - The fractious factions in the Gaza Strip and across the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories have found one voice to unite behind - a 22-year-old youth singing songs about a lost homeland on the Middle East's version of 'American Idol'. Gaza native Mohammed Assaf has become the first Palestinian to qualify for 'Arab Idol', a TV talent show staged in Beirut, in which singers perform for judges and voting viewers. ...
Director James Cameron to broadcast 3D 'Swan Lake' live from Russia
LONDON (Reuters) - "Avatar" director James Cameron and Russian conductor Valery Gergiev will beam the world's first live 3D ballet broadcast to 50 countries from Russia's Mariinsky theatre in June. Cinema audiences across Europe, the United States, South America, Asia, Australia and elsewhere will be able to watch Ekaterina Kondaurova dance the role of Odette/Odile in Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake" at the 19th century opera house on June 6, production company Omniverse Vision said in a statement. ...
CBS announces Grammy dates for next two years
By Brent Lang LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - The Grammy Awards will return to the Staples Center in Los Angeles next January, the Recording Academy and CBS announced Monday. The annual music honors will be broadcast on Sunday, January 26, 2014, between 8:00 to 11:30 PM. It will air live on CBS for East Coast viewers and will be tape delayed on the West Coast. The network and academy also announced broadcast dates for the 2015 edition. That iteration of "Music's Biggest Night" will air on Sunday, February 8, 2015. Ratings for the show fell from 39 million viewers to 28 million this year. ...
Elton John biopic 'Rocketman' to launch foreign sales effort at Cannes
By Jeff Sneider LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - Rocket Pictures' Elton John biopic "Rocketman" will be taking off at Cannes, with Good Universe launching the international sales effort at the upcoming Cannes Film Market. Michael Gracey is directing from a script by Oscar nominee Lee Hall ("Billy Elliot"). Steve Hamilton Shaw and David Furnish ("Gnomeo and Juliet") will produce, while Sir Elton John will executive produce. ...
Aretha Franklin cancels two concerts over health issues
(Reuters) - Soul singer Aretha Franklin has pulled out of two upcoming performances because of health issues, the two concert venues said on Monday. Franklin, 71, canceled a May 20 concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and a May 26 solo performance at the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. "It was canceled for medical reasons," Foxwoods spokeswoman Dale Wolbrink said, declining to say what health issues caused the "Queen of Soul" to pull out of the May 26 show. ...
Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman died of liver cirrhosis -band
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Guitarist Jeff Hanneman of the seminal heavy metal band Slayer died of alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver, and not as a result of a flesh-eating bacteria, the remaining members of the U.S. band said. Hanneman, a founder of the band, which was known for its fast tempo, dark themes and pounding drums, died last week at age 49 in Southern California after suffering liver failure. ...
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